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Polk County Lunch Lady Reportedly In Abusive Relationship Charged With Stabbing Her Boyfriend To Death With Scissors

Haines City Police Department Press Release

HAINES CITY, FL – A Polk County Schools employee was arrested on Friday after stabbing her boyfriend to death late Thursday night.

Rose Marie Hernandez-Rosa, 38, is being charged with second-degree homicide and tampering with evidence. She is a cafeteria
worker at Citrus Ridge: A Civics Academy.
Officers arrived after 1:30 a.m. on Friday to find live-in boyfriend Joyssie Weayne Colon Candelaria, 34, lying in a puddle of his
own blood in a bathroom at the Parkview Village apartment that he and Hernandez-Rosa shared. Polk County Emergency Medical Services responded and pronounced Colon Candelaria dead before 2 a.m.

Through the investigation, detectives found a single puncture wound to the left collarbone area. An autopsy revealed that Colon Candelaria was fatally struck in an artery, which caused him to bleed out. Blood was also found throughout the bathroom, including on the walls and the bathtub.

Hernandez-Rosa initially claimed that she found Colon Candelaria lying face down before calling 911. She told detectives that
Colon Candelaria is a cocaine user but denied ever seeing him use cocaine. None was found at the scene.

Hernandez-Rosa said the two were involved in a physical altercation earlier in the evening but denied stabbing him until she was shown a picture of the wound. Hernandez-Rosa then said that during the altercation, she had a pair of scissors in her hand and that’s what she used to stab him. She told detectives that after the stabbing, she ran into her bedroom and locked the door.

Hernandez-Rosa gave multiple accounts of what she did with the scissors. She first said that they were in her bedroom before later
claiming to have thrown them in a community dumpster. The scissors were not found.

Colon Candelaria and Hernandez-Rosa have a history of domestic violence, which includes Colon Candelaria being arrested in

Hernandez-Rosa said the two have not slept in the same room for three months because of continuous fighting. Neighbors
told detectives that the two fight almost daily.

One neighbor, who could see into the apartment, claimed to see Hernandez-Rosa strike Colon Candelaria repeatedly.

Hernandez-Rosa claimed to have acted in self-defense. There was no evidence that she suffered any injuries during the altercation.

A child was present at the time but witnessed none of the altercation. Hernandez-Rosa was arrested and transported to the Polk
County Jail.

“Because of the thorough, diligent and outstanding work of our detectives, we were able to make an arrest in this case,” Interim Police Chief Loyd Stewart said. “If you’re a victim of domestic violence, whether you’re female or male, I implore you to seek the available resources and get out of these relationships.”

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